Hi, Tony here.
I recorded this song in October 1999, shortly before the referendum on the republic. It is essentially reflecting on a basic irony – while we were still getting into a collective lather over whether we should finally assert our full independence from Britain, in reality our allegiance and subservience has long since been transferred to the USA. The recent debate over our role in the war in Afghanistan has once again highlighted this.
This seems a good time to post this up as the media gets into a lather about the engagement of Will and Kate and the impending spectacle of their royal wedding (with constant invocations of the ghost of Lady Di).
The prospect of King William of Australia has already galvanised the republican debate again, although we are unlikely to have another referendum soon. I suspect there is very little enthusiasm for a King Charles of Australia, or a King William of Australia, but neither is there any widespread feeling that a change is urgently needed. The referendum in 1999 was of course set up by Howard to fail, and to postpone change for as long as possible.
For those who want Australia to be a republic, naturally I agree, and the sooner the better, but as I commented at the time, just as importantly, Australia badly needs a Bill of Rights. We also need a much more independent foreign policy.
At the time I recorded this I was living in Adelaide. I recorded it at Big Cactus Studios, a small studio upstairs in the beautiful old Grace Emily Hotel in Waymouth St, a well-known venue for live music.
I had a couple of dozen CDs printed with the above logo, pinched from the 20c coin, under the name Fats Parameter, and circulated them to community radio stations (and Aunty) around the country. Basically this was a throwaway ditty for the occasion, with a short use-by date, and of necessity produced in some haste. But I was happy with the song.